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❚ authority ❚ technology ❚ society ❚ culture ✱ Luke Burgis

tech engineers desire

engineering desire, is the approach of Silicon Valley, authoritarian governments … happens in labs, with cold, lifeless instruments … use intelligence and data to centrally plan a system in which people want things that other people want them to want—things that benefit a certain group of people. This approach poses a serious threat to human agency. It also lacks respect for the capability of people to freely desire what is best for themselves and the people they love

Models of desire, Facebook was built around identity—that is to say, desires. It helps people see what other people have and want. It is a platform for finding, following, and differentiating oneself from models

Amazon mediates desire for things. Google mediates desire for information itself … pioneered what Harvard professor Shoshana Zuboff calls surveillance capitalism (“The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power”). Companies that operate according to this model translate private human experience into behavioral data that can then be used to engineer their desires, or at least to exploit them for profit.

Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy, by technology guru George Gilder

making for the sake of making authoritarian regimes engineer desires